Dementia is not just about losing your memory it can affect the way someone thinks, speaks and the things that they do. It becomes more difficult to learn new activities, to communicate and reason, it can interfere with tasks like writing and causes mood changes and confusion. This type of cognitive decline usually starts by affecting the short-term memory and can be severe enough to impact daily living, independence and relationships.
Short term forgetfulness
Judgment that is impaired
Behavior that is inappropriate
Struggling to communicate thoughts in the manor in which they want to express them
Difficulty finding the right word, or calling things by the wrong name
Balance, gait and motor issues
Disoriented to time, day and place
Unreliable & inaccurate reasoning
Difficulties with flexible thinking and logical problem solving
Personal care and safety are neglected
Delusions with an erroneous perception of reality
Suspicion & mistrust of people and their actions without evidence or justification
Can become lost or disoriented in familiar places
Lacks an understanding on how to follow directions
Repeats or asks the same questions numerous times
Depressed, suspicious, and at times fearful
Difficulty with normal daily tasks
Neglectful with nutrition - poor diet - lacks an appetite
Can become unkempt and ignore hygiene
Withdraws from work, hobbies and social activities
Becomes confused following the flow of a conversation
Forgetful to the day or time of day
Difficulty following story lines, struggling to follow along with conversations or TV programs
Misplacing items - putting thing is out of the ordinary places
Not all forms of memory loss is dementia. However someone who has a least two types of impairment that is significant enough to interfere with everyday life could be considered a diagnosis. In addition to difficulty remembering they may experience impairment in:
Communication can become difficult and take longer than usual to conclude
Concentrated activity and lack of focus
Understanding and formation of judgment by logic
For someone in the early stages, the experience is frightening. Suddenly they can't remember people they know or follow what others are saying. They can't remember why they went for a walk and got lost on the way back. Because of the uncertainty they may crave routine and not want to try new things. Having difficulty adapting to changes is a typical sign of early dementia.
If you have concerns or are worried about memory issues report these symptoms to your doctor as soon as possible and schedule regular follow up visits. Your doctor can evaluate your symptoms, offer advice on healthy lifestyle adjustments, and help you obtain the appropriate care.
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